Some really sad news out there:
It was long ago when I have still been a child.
This was the site from where I’ve downloaded first decent helicopter models for FS9 I tried, the forum where I’ve learned a lot about helicopters, and the multiplayer server, where I first tried flying online with people who loved rotary wing machines as much as I did. I’ve never received an HC certified pilot status because my skills in English were far from being sufficient for that in those days, yet the whole experience had influenced me to the point I am still using my callsign as a nickname pretty much everywhere. I’ve never been anywhere near the town of Hood River in real life, yet its fictional representation from FSX brings memories and feels so familiar. The whole area around Ken Jenstedt airfield (used as a base for a fictional Hood River airfield – former HoverControl base) still feels like a virtual hometown to me =)
It’s really sad to see the resource going down…
Below, there’s a slightly edited cross-post of my comment under Sergio’s article.
I’ve been noticing that the forum wasn’t looking good lately… It is a huge loss for the community. I don’t think the reason lies solely in social networks replacing forums, but rather in an end of MSFS era.
How about reviving the whole thing in XP11 and Vatsim? As far as I know, there are no barriers for helicopter operations in VATSIM, live ATC is often online, xsquawbox is working pretty good, Dreamfoil helis are not perfect, but good enough, so… why not? Nothing’s wrong with flying in DCS as well.
I can offer my technical knowledge as an IT engineer and Simchair MKIII open-source 3d-printable heli sim hardware design, that you can find on this site. We could have used some similar domain name (e.g. hovercontrol.net) and make a fresh start, if anyone’s interested. Of course, there wouldn’t be much to do without people actually flying together, so the question is, whether we really need it and want it to happen. If so, we’ll need guys, willing to participate as instructor pilots, forum moderators, etc.
With all these quality helicopter sims out there, like DCS helis, or DF helis for XPlane, it doesn’t look like the whole simulation thing is dying at all, especially with the rise of VR. Yet, should we will become too scattered as a community, sooner or later people will stop making quality products, and that’s where things will start going downhill and it won’t be long before we will have nothing, but FSX-default-206-alikes (flight model wise) with super-duper-HD-textures and mega-realistic sounds, with their main features being VR-ready animated cupholders and an Ipad in the cockpit.
I, for instance, would hate seeing that happen, so I would love to do what I can to support the revival of the resource that had been helping to introduce newcomers to our friendly fellowship in some new, up-to-date shape.
Anyway, thank you, Jordan, for everything you did for the community and for popularisation of helicopter simulation. It’s been a great time. Thank you, Sergio, for letting us know.
Please let me know what you guys think in comments.